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Client function sparks Hep A alert

Client function sparks Hep A alert

Thomson Playford Cutlers was informed by SA Health last month that a food handler at a client function was later found to have been diagnosed with the Hepatitis A virus infection. The event,…

Thomson Playford Cutlers was informed by SA Health last month that a food handler at a client function was later found to have been diagnosed with the Hepatitis A virus infection.

The event, held in the firm's Adelaide office on March 17, was attended by clients and guests in order to celebrate the opening of a new premises for the firm.

A Thomson spokesperson told Lawyers Weekly today that all clients and guests who may have been exposed to the virus, were informed of the risk, and that the firm offered to pay for any vaccinations immediately.

The firm said that it was unaware of anyone being infected with the disease as a result of attending the function.

On March 27, the day the firm was advised by SA health that the food handler was infected with the virus, it sent an email to all attendees of the function, informing them of the incident.

The email stated: "At midday today Thomson Playford Cutlers was advised by the Communicable Disease Control Branch of SA Health Government of South Australia, that a food handler from an external contractor working at our function was subsequently diagnosed with the Hepatitis A virus infection."

The email then went on to inform clients that the risk to those who attended the function was low, but that Hepatitis A is a communicable disease: "We have a duty of care to inform all who may have been exposed to this low risk."

Thomson said clients generally reacted positively to how the firm handled the crisis. One email from a client, obtained by Lawyers Weekly, thanked the firm for their "proactive response to an unlucky set of circumstances."

The firm said it regrets the incident, but has not launched any legal action regarding the matter.

- Angela Priestley

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